President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi assigned members of the Detained Youth Committee to look into cases of prisoners who received final verdicts in publishing and opinion cases during his meeting with its members on Saturday, according to member of parliament and of the committee Tarek El-Khouly.
The committee was previously assigned to only look into cases of detainees in pretrial detention and those who received preliminary rulings.
The committee members submitted a preliminary list of names of 83 prisoners who are involved in opinion and publishing cases to the president, El-Khouly said on Saturday. The list recommends prisoners who should receive a pardon.
The Detained Youth Committee was created a few days after the state-sponsored National Youth Conference. It was brought into existence by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, following calls made by prominent politician Osama Al-Ghazaly Harb to release detainees in cases related to freedom of expression.
On Friday, El-Khouly labeled a list of prisoners allegedly nominated for release circulated among several media outlets as inaccurate.
Privately-owned newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabaa published on Thursday the prisoners’ names that were mentioned in the list, which included detainees accused in well-known cases.
The MP stated that the newspaper’s report was not valid, saying that some of the published names were being examined by the Detained Youth Committee, given it had received complaints regarding specific cases that were on the list.
El-Khouly had told Daily News Egypt in previous comments that the committee only focuses on opinion prisoners, not those involved in violent cases. The committee has received complaints from families, and lists of names from political parties, human rights lawyers, and non-governmental organisations.
Human rights lawyer Mokhtar Mounir commented on the alleged report, saying: “It is fabricated, since among the reported names, some were already released and others are not even in prison.”
The Detained Youth Committee is also supposed to meet with the parliamentary Human Rights Committee within days to discuss what it has reached so far.